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(September 2013) Neil Welsman says:
Just came across your Phu Loi Tower 4 blog — I was assigned to the 520th – there from 8/69 to 8/70 — I was a 1st lt assigned to bn staff as S2, communitions officer and starting about 9/69 — security platoon leader!!! I worked with the security plt sgt on maintaining our perimeter sector. We were “Reno sector” and had 4 towers and the bunkers in between in our sector – as you mentioned – the towers were manned 24 hrs/day and bunkers only at nite. Can’t remember sgts name – but he had the plt operating so well – I pretty much let him run things. Every nite I would brief the officer of the day who would then handle the sector at nite. several other units on the base camp were assigned to our sector and would send over guys to help man bunkers. Robbie Robertson was the commo plt sgt – Robbie had served several tours in Vietnam – could speak the language – and was probably the best scavenger in the army!!!!
As a note to your blog – I very seldom drove the perimeter – but would often walk it during day — checking bunkers and towers — often found large cans of strange green leafy stuff in the bunkers – and towers – I would actually climb the towers unobserved at times because guys in towers were sleeping soundly – perhaps the effect of the strange green leafy stuff!!!! – which of course upon being woken up, no one claimed — whenever I found a problem on the bunker line – I would let the security plt sgt know and let him deal with it — things worked better that way. entire year I was there – no attacks and fortunately no one got hurt. Once or twice a month, Charlie would send us some mortars from around Dog Leg village – usually they would land around the airfield – but – at least while I was there – hit nothing. Of course once the 1st incoming came in we would go on full alert – I would have to man the command bunker until the all clear came – talking about purple hearts – if you remember, the bn hq area had deep drainage ditches that ran thru it – and up to the trailer where the bn cmdr stayed — one alert, he was running from his trailer to the command bunker – fell into a ditch, broke his leg — for which he too was awarded a purple heart!!!
Anyway – your blog brought back memories – thanks for the posting.